Drogue Plans 2015 Comeback at Oaklawn

Drogue Plans 2015 Comeback at Oaklawn
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Justin Manning

Drogue hasn’t raced in almost a year, but the 6-year-old son of Victory Gallop is back in light training at Oaklawn and could run before the meeting ends April 11, trainer Mike Johnson said.

In his last start, Drogue, bred and owned by Oaklawn President Charles Cella, scored a record-breaking nine-length victory in the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes on Jan. 11 – opening weekend of the 2014 racing season.
It was the most lopsided margin of victory in the Fifth Season’s 26-year history and the biggest career score for Johnson, a former assistant to now-retired trainer Pete Vestal, who resides on a 106-acre farm in the tiny southeast Arkansas community of Palmyra.
Johnson was pointing Drogue toward the $100,000 Essex Handicap about a month after the Fifth Season, but the horse was sidelined for the remainder of 2014 after a bone chip discovered in an ankle required surgery in early March.
“I wouldn’t say he had complications from the surgery, but it just took him a while to get over the it,” Johnson said. 
Johnson said Drogue was turned out at Longfield Farm in Goshen, Ky., following the surgery until he rejoined the trainer in mid-June. Drogue was initially hand-walked, then began jogging around Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs. He is scheduled to begin galloping early next month.
“I just gave him plenty of time to get over it and back to feeling like himself,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a start with him at the end of the meet.  By just looking at him, you wouldn’t think he’s been out of training,” Johnson said. “He didn’t get too fat at the farm.”
The recently retired Cyber Secret, also owned by Cella, finished a distant second to Drogue in the Fifth Season.

Cyber Secret won the 2013 Oaklawn Handicap.

Source: Oaklawn Park

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